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Getting Your Motorcycle Ready For Spring

April 6, 2011

Despite how you might feel right now, spring is here and motorcycle season will soon be here. If your bike has been parked in storage, you should make sure that you send your bike in for a spring tune up and safety check.

Keeping your bike well maintained not only helps you ride safely; it can also extend the life of your vehicle and improve your riding comfort and enjoyment.

Making sure your bike is in top condition can make you a safer rider and that may lead to cheaper insurance costs. 

Here are some things you need to check before you get on the road: 

Motorcycle Maintenance Checks

  • Tires.  Your tires are the only thing that comes between your bike and the road. If your bike has not been ridden in a while you should check the air pressure and condition of your tires.
  • Lights.  Have a look at the headlight and reflectors to make sure they work.  Check for any cracks or other signs of deterioration.
  • Fluids.  Check your engine oil, coolant, hydraulic fluid and all other oils and make sure that you top up all your fluids and check for any leaks.
  • Battery.  If you removed the battery during the winter months, make sure you reinstall it according to the directions in your owner’s manual.
  • Controls.  Have a look at the pedals and levers to be sure they fit properly and are properly lubricated and adjusted. Watch for any damage or deterioration.
  • Chassis.  Make sure your front forks and rear shocks are adjusted properly and replace any broken or missing fasteners. Check the teeth of the sprocket and lubricate the chain if necessary.
  • Gear.   Be sure to check over your riding gear before it faces its moment of truth out on the road. Most important, of course, is your helmet. If your helmet has been in any kind of a collision, it’s time for a new one.

Insurance Maintenance Checks

Spring is also a great time to do a thorough check up of your motorcycle insurance policy. While you want to make sure you get the full amount of coverage that you need, there’s no need to spend more than necessary.

Here are some ways you can save money:

  • Ride carefully. Your driving record is one of the primary determinants of your insurance costs, so careful riding not only keeps you safe, it can save you money. Early in the new season, your reactions and you riding skills tend to be a bit rusty, so be sure to take it a bit slower than usual. Watch for leftover sand and salt on the road from the winter season as this can make driving conditions more treacherous for riders.
  • Equip your bike with an anti-theft device. There are a number of motorcycle specific anti-theft devices on the market. Ask your insurance agent or broker if installing one of these can save you money on your insurance.
  • Take a course. If you’re a new rider, there are some rider training courses available that not only make you a better driver, they also qualify you for cheaper insurance rates.
  • Insure your bike with the same company that insures your car or home. This can qualify you for a multi-line discount which can be as much as 10-15% of your premium.
  • Increase your deductible. If your bank account can spare it, consider raising your deductible. This could reduce the cost of your premium by a substantial amount.
  • Consider dropping your collision coverage. If you have an older  bike that you wouldn’t bother repairing or replacing if it were involved in an accident, you might want to talk to your agent about dropping your collision coverage.
  • Shop around. All insurance companies are not created equal. Rates and coverages vary quite a bit among insurance companies and the only way to be sure you’re getting the best deal is to shop around for motorcycle insurance. Why pay more for the same coverage?

Spring is a great time of year for motorcycle riders.  By taking a little time to make sure your bike is in good working order and you are happy with your insurance coverage, you can look forward to enjoyable rides this season.